Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A strange and unusual feeling

Yesterday evening, as I was driving to derby training, I felt a strange and unusual feeling come across me. I felt... happy. And hopeful.

I was actually looking forward to derby training (it's been ages since I've felt that way - even though I mostly enjoyed training once I was there I usually spent most of the day not feeling like going), and, even more shocking, I felt hopeful about my future at my job.

It felt weird. And I was scared to let myself feel it, coz what if everything turns to shit and I go back to being unhappy again?

I guess if that happens then it's good to have had this period of hope. Better to anticipate good things and occasionally be disapointed than to anticipate bad things, and, even if they never show up, feel scared of hope for the rest of my life!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Roller Derby: The return!

After almost 5 months off the flat track I have returned to derby training with the new year. I was really hesitant about this, knowing I was going to be starting my PhD, and recalling the terrible commute, which, when you add it to the training timetable, means I'm not eating dinner until 10:30pm two nights a week. But in spite of all this I went back for the first training session of the year last week, and - surprise, surprise! - I enjoyed it.

I have to pass my Level 4 test (again!), which is scheduled for the end of the month. PRD have rolled into the new year with two sessions with Texas skater Smarty Pants, which has been a great opportunity for me to start over with the basics - crossovers, stops, etc. A great way to re-enter the sport, and I feel that the time off means perhaps I am a bit more of a blank canvas, and can take on board new techniques. I haven't gotten back into proper scrimmage yet, though the couple of scrimmage-based drills I've engaged in have felt so chaotic! Reminds me once again of the first time we scrimmaged, when it felt like I had NO IDEA of what was going on and I imagined I was completely all over the place. I also have to learn the new rule set, which has some pretty big changes, especially applying to penalties.

I'm honestly not sure what this year holds for me in terms of derby. I think last year the big mistake I made was placing too much emphasis on it, as an alternative avenue of satisfaction to work. Of course I didn't stop dedicating myself to my job, despite saying that I was going to (ha!), and what with a couple of injuries, derby did not provide the fulfillment I had hoped it would. I didn't have a lot in me last year, but hopefully this year will be different. At least, I'm doing everything in my power to make it so!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


View from Peak Head, Torndirrup National Park
I never really believed in crystals or that kind of thing. But having just returned from a fabulous trip to Albany, which is firmly set on granite, I am wondering whether there is something to the idea of the vibrations from certain rocks or minerals after all.

I was born in Sydney, which is sandstone country. I've always felt comfortable with sandstone, and indeed in the bushland that thrives on it. Turns out I also feel comfortable on granite.

Both Canberra and Perth sit on limestone. Limestone is a young rock, whereas granite is sedimentary rock (like sandstone) that has been cooked, forged by the crashing of continents and the pressure of the earth. Granite has had some life experience. You know where you stand when you're on granite. Not like the shifting limestone sands of the Perth Basin...

Maybe what I'm getting at here is something like the Aboriginal concept of 'country'. That the place you are born in somehow indelibly marks you, and nothing can be quite right until you return there.

Good, honest granite!
 For the past seven years I've been living on limestone. I think maybe when I move again I should think long and hard about the landscape that I'll be moving to. In fact, since I'm aiming to move on from here regardless, maybe now is a good time to start thinking of some good sandstone or granite country to aim for next!